Get Woke, Go Broke: ‘Social Justice’ Agenda Leads Oberlin College Into Crisis

Meredith Raimondo is vice president and dean of students at Oberlin College, an elite liberal arts school in Ohio where the annual cost of attendance (tuition, room and board) is $68,672. Dean Raimondo is also named as a defendant in two lawsuits against Oberlin:

Oberlin College faces two serious lawsuits arising out of social justice activism on campus.
One suit, by a local bakery boycotted by Oberlin students and administration based on apparently false claims the bakery racially profiled students, has been permitted to move forward. . . .
[T]hree Oberlin students were arrested for shoplifting at Gibson’s bakery. Oberlin students claimed racial profiling, and mounted protests and a boycott supported by college student groups, administrators and faculty. The boycott continued even after police released data showing there was no racial profiling in shoplifting arrests at the bakery, and the three students pled guilty. . . . Gibson’s sued the college and its Dean of Students, Meredith Raimondo, for defamation and multiple other claims.
The Gibson’s lawsuit has caused a town-gown split that pits the privileged college and students against ordinary community members. . . .
In another lawsuit, an expelled Oberlin College male student sued claiming the hearing process was biased and stacked against men. . . .
A male student who was expelled from campus in October 2016 for alleged sexual assault has filed a federal lawsuit against Oberlin. . . . [T]he lawsuit contains allegations which, if proven, reflect that Oberlin’s system for adjudicating sexual assault accusations was fundamentally biased against males, at least during the 2015-2016 academic year.
As in the Gibson’s lawsuit, the alleged conduct of Dean of Students Raimondo was at issue.
[T]he student sought to file an Amended Complaint, after discovering a YouTube video in which Raimondo allegedly made statement evidencing bias against males.

Dean Raimondo is allegedly complicit both in the false accusation of racism against Gibson’s Bakery and an anti-male policy under which 100% of students accused of sexual misconduct were found guilty.

Meanwhile, declining enrollment has provoked a budget crisis at Oberlin:

President Carmen Ambar and other senior administrators have launched an 11-day presentation campaign in which all College and Conservatory faculty, administrative and professional staff, Student Senate, student media, and other constituencies will see the largest overview of Oberlin’s financial situation to date, along with Ambar’s proposed plan to rectify Oberlin’s ever-worsening deficit

Because the only thing taught at Oberlin is radical ideology (see “The Cult of Social Justice,” The American Spectator, Dec. 15, 2015), the students are constantly protesting against “imperialism, white supremacy, capitalism, ableism, and a cissexist heteropatriarchy.” Oberlin’s enrollment is declining because no intelligent parent would pay $68,672 a year for this kind of left-wing indoctrination. And yet the only reason Dean Raimondo has her job is because she is a feminist who has dedicated her career to promoting “progressive” ideology.

Everybody knows that academics seeking faculty tenure must pursue the “publish or perish” principle. What kind of research Meredith Raimondo has published? The only thing I could find was an article (“Intensifications: Representing Gender and Sexuality at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS”) included in a 2005 anthology, Just Advocacy: Women’s Human Rights, Transnational Feminisms, and the Politics of Representation. Feminist advocacy was the sole rationale of Dean Raimondo’s teaching career, as she explained in 2014 when Oberlin bestowed an “Excellence in Teaching Award” on her. She declared that “social justice principles . . . are a key intellectual component of our work,” and described her “research interests” as “gender and sexuality, health inequalities, and social movements.”

Because feminism is the raison d’être of Dean Raimondo’s career, it was therefore a clear indication of Oberlin’s agenda in July 2014 when she was appointed special assistant to the president for diversity, equity, and inclusion and Title IX coordinator:

Raimondo’s position was developed as a result of conversations that happened on campus over the past 18 months about how best to meet the college’s obligation to respond to allegations of gender? and sex-based discrimination and harassment in compliance with Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Clery Act, and the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act of 2013 (SaVE). . . .
“The current national conversation about addressing sexual misconduct on college campuses is one example of the ways in which equity issues are deeply connected to educational opportunity,” says Raimondo. “I’m proud to be at a campus taking responsible and proactive steps on these issues.”

What this means, in practice, is that Oberlin is committed to abolishing heterosexuality on campus. If you are a male student at Oberlin, you can be expelled for engaging in any heterosexuality activity, because Meredith Raimondo’s policy is that the only thing necessary to prove a male student guilty of rape is to accuse him. All students at Oberlin are indoctrinated with hatred of “heteropatriarchy,” but there are probably no girls on campus that a boy would find sexually attractive, even if it weren’t for the administration’s anti-male/anti-heterosexual agenda. The typical Oberlin girl is a “queer feminist” like Kaela Elias, whose entire worldview is based on fear and loathing of “cishet white males.”

“I recently learned that the guy who lives next to me and literally never even makes eye contact with me is a REPUBLICAN. I am scared.”
— Kaela Elias, Dec. 14, 2015

A Republican at Oberlin? Why would any Republican go to such a school? Would any Republican expect his parents to pay $68,672 a yearfor him to attend Oberlin, where everybody on campus hates Republicans, and all the girls are “queer feminists” who would probably accuse him of rape if he ever made eye contact with them? The appointment of Meredith Raimondo as dean of students in November 2016 signified that hostility to “cishet white males” is now the official ideology at Oberlin.

“Get woke, go broke.” Social justice is bad for business, and the financial woes at Oberlin — which is now facing multimillion-dollar deficits, in addition to two lawsuits — demonstrate that promoting an ideology hostile to capitalism has harmful consequences even in the taxpayer-subsidized cocoon of elite academia. “Falling enrollment at Oberlin is a key driver of the financial problems,” William Jacobson writes. “At some point Oberlin will have to confront whether the over-the-top social activism on campus, which dominates national media coverage of Oberlin, has reached the tipping point.”

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